Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Good, Fresh, Local!

Students and faculty all around the UNL campus are equipped with several dining halls to access food throughout the day. The food is typical of any other college campus: frozen food, deep-fried everything, below average salad bar, and soda galore. It’s nothing exciting....HOLD UP! If you have ever had this thought about your dining halls at UNL, then you need a refresher. Not only are the dining halls here filled with amazing staff, but the food is beyond anything any other college campus has to offer. The food featured is a mix of fresh and local cuisine thanks to a program known as Good, Fresh, Local. 

Good, Fresh, Local started back in 2005 when UNL decided to add a twist to the everyday food served at dining halls. They started an initiative with several local farms and producers in Nebraska to serve local food in the dining halls. Not only does this allow for students to have a fresh option when eating their meals, but it also shows UNL’s support for the local economy and reduces the cost of shipping food from other states. The program is budgeted into the students’ meal plans at the beginning of the year...but some students say they would pay extra to have GFL served more often or more than the ordinary dining hall food. 

Right now the program is focused mainly in two dining halls. Good, Fresh, Local foods make up 5% of the Cather, Pound, Neihardt dining menu and 2% of the East Campus dining menu. The other three dining halls do provide a small amount of GFL food, though. Each month, a special meal is served at the two main dining halls featuring a MAJORITY of local food. AMAZING! These meals are so popular that lines form a half hour before the dining halls open. These are the meals where you take the opportunity to indulge and have no self shame in getting seconds...because you’re crazy if you don’t! 


Wednesday – December 10, 2014 – GFL Holiday Dinner

Thursday – January 22, 2015 – GFL Country Breakfast

Thursday – February 19, 2015 – GFL Italian Dinner

Thursday – March 12, 2015 – GFL Chain Reaction Lunch

Thursday – April 16, 2015 – GFL Japanese Dinner

East Campus Union

Wednesday – December 10, 2014 – GFL Holiday Dinner

Wednesday – January 21, 2015 – GFL Comfort Food

Tuesday – March 17, 2015 – GFL St. Pat’s Lunch

Wednesday – April 15, 2015 – GFL Lunch

After seeing the success of the program from the start, many other college campuses are trying to start a similar program in their dining halls (I.E. NE Wesleyan) or have been researched to see if the program could work there. Being a leader in the food industry, UNL is shaping the way students look at their dining options when choosing a college. Some look at the cost and think “How ridiculous!”, but now many are saying “It’s a lot of money, but the fresh, local food is worth it!” Hopefully the mindset you were in before is now equipped with a better understanding of the dining halls. Good, Fresh, Local food is waiting for you at your next meal! 

(Facts taken from Jennifer Simons - UNL Research Paper)

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